Summer getaway begins as 2.1 million Brits head abroad

Summer getaway begins as 2.1 million Brits head abroad

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An estimated 2.1 million British holidaymakers are due to travel overseas for summer holidays this weekend (July 24-27).

Mediterranean destinations are most popular for families, with Spain attracting the largest proportion of people from the UK.

Other eurozone destinations, including Cyprus, France and Greece are also proving popular this summer with holidaymakers as the pound hit an eight year high against the euro.

Florida remains the top long haul choice for families, while the Dominican Republic and Mexico have sold well, according to Abta.

Domestic bookings are healthy with travel agents and tour operators reporting strong demand.

As well as city and country breaks in the UK, shorter holidays to Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome, Dublin and New York also feature as some of the top picks for summer 2015.

Airports in the south-east are expecting a busy weekend with 450,000 passengers departing from Heathrow, 310,000 from Gatwick, 160,000 from Stansted and 90,000 from Luton.

More than 100,000 will be leaving from Scottish airports with 50,000 from Glasgow alone.

A further 171,000 are due to depart from Manchester, 73,000 from Birmingham and 50,000 from Bristol.

Other regional airports, ports and the channel tunnel will also be busy over the weekend with hundreds of thousands leaving the country. Eurostar expects to carry 71,000 holidaymakers to Paris and the south of France.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “This weekend sees the great summer getaway in full swing with all of the schools in the UK having broken up for their summer break and hundreds of thousands of UK holidaymakers heading off for a break.

“Destinations around the Mediterranean remain the firm favourites for British families with Spain and Greece leading the way.

“Many Abta members are reporting an increase in late bookings to Greece following the recent progress in securing a bailout, with customers taking advantage of some exceptional deals.

“For those flying long haul, Florida and Dubai are very popular this year, with families benefitting from the cut in child air taxes that was introduced in May.

“Holidaymakers will also see their spending money going further with the pound having increased in value against a wide range of currencies, particularly the euro, over the last 12 months.”

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